Dr Zongli Zheng (鄭宗立博士)

PhD (Karolinska)
Research Fellow (Harvard Medical School)

Assistant Professor

+ Honorary Advisor (Molecular Diagnosis), Dept. Pathology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital
+ Member (Clinical Bioinformatics), Task Force on NGS, HKAS, Innovation and Technology Commission, Hong Kong Government
Dr Zongli Zheng

Contact Information

Office: 1A-207, 2/F, Block 1
To Yuen Building
Phone: +852 3442-2199
Fax: +852 3442-0549
Email: zongli.zheng@cityu.edu.hk
Web: CityU Scholars

Research Interests

  • Gene rearrangement in cancer
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Next generation sequencing
  • CRISPR genome editing
  • Biotechnology

Dr Zheng received his PhD degree in medical epidemiology from Karolinska Institutet in 2011 and completed a postdoctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, with support from the Swedish Research Council International Postdoc Fellowship. In July 2015, he joined the Department of Biomedical Sciences at City University of Hong Kong.

Research Interests

Our contribution to precision medicine includes the invention of the AMP technology that enables gene fusion discovery and, following initial clinical implementations in top US hospitals (MSK Solid Fusion, MGH NGS Fusion, etc.), has now been adopted globally for robust clinical assays to guide targeted therapy for cancer patients. We have also developed the GUIDE-seq method that has become a reference for genome-wide unbiased profiling of CRISPR edits. Currently, we focus on:

  • Liquid biopsy – to identify molecular determinants and circulating signatures for cancer monitoring, diagnosis and, ultimately, prevention.
  • Genome engineering – to characterize genome-wide CRISPR targeting profile and improve its genome editing precision for treating diseases rooted in altered DNA bases or chromosomal structures.

Lab Members

KEBEDE Tamiru Firaol (MSc, I.T.M., Belgium)
TAN Yuanyan (MSc, SIAT CAS)
LU Chenyu (MSc, Zhejiang Uni.)
BAO Yufan (BSc, PolyU HK)
NG Yin Ting (FYP)
FONG King Ho (FYP)

Selected Publications

(#contributed equally, advisee, *correspondence; Full list: Google Scholar)

  1. Tan Y#, Chu HY#, Bao S, Hoang DA, Kebede TF, Xiong W, Ji M, Shi J*, Zheng Z*. Rationally engineered Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 nucleases with high genome-wide specificity. PNAS (2019, in press).
  2. Choi GCG, Zhou P, Yuen CTL, Chan BKC, Xu F, Bao S, Chu HY, Thean D, Tan K, Wong KH, Zheng Z, Wong ASL. Combinatorial mutagenesis en masse optimizes the genome editing activities of SpCas9. Nature Methods (2019) 16:722-730.
  3. Kleinstiver BP, Pattanayak V, Prew MS, Tsai SQ, Nguyen NT, Zheng Z, Joung JK. High-fidelity CRISPR–Cas9 nucleases with no detectable genome-wide off-target effects. Nature (2016) 529:490–495.
  4. Kleinstiver BP, Prew MS, Tsai SQ, Nguyen NT, Topkar VV, Zheng Z, Joung JK. Broadening the targeting range of Staphylococcus aureus CRISPR-Cas9 by modifying PAM recognition. Nature Biotechnology (2015) 33:1293-1298.
  5. Huang J, Löhr JM, Nilsson M, Segersvärd R, Matsson H, Verbeke C, Heuchel R, Kere J, Iafrate AJ, Zheng Z*, Ye W*. Variant profiling of candidate genes in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Clinical Chemistry (2015) 61:1408-1416.

Before Hong Kong

  1. Tsai SQ#, Zheng Z#, Nguyen NT, Liebers M, Topkar VV, Thapar V, Wyvekens N, Khayter C, Iafrate AJ, Le LP, Aryee MJ, Joung KJ. GUIDE-seq enables genome-wide profiling of off-target cleavage by CRISPR-Cas nucleases. Nature Biotechnology (2015) 33:187–198.
  2. Shaw A, Ou S, Bang Y, Camidge R, Solomon B, Salgia R, Riely G, Varella-Garcia M, Shapiro G, Costa D, Doebele R, Le LP, Zheng Z, Tan W, Stephenson P, Shreeve S, Tye L, Christensen J, Wilner K, Clark J, Iafrate AJ. Crizotinib in ROS1-Rearranged Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. The New England Journal of Medicine (2014) 371:1963-1971.
  3. Zheng Z, Liebers M, Zhelyazkova B, Cao Y, Panditi D, Lynch KD, Chen J, Robinson HE, Shim HS, Chmielecki J, Pao W, Engelman JA, Iafrate AJ, Le LP. Anchored multiplex PCR for targeted next-generation sequencing. Nature Medicine (2014) 20:1479–1484.

Available Position

We are looking for motivated individuals interested in our research directions to join our team as research assistants, PhD students and postdocs.